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Las Vegas Summit 2017

I just got back from another incredible Summit by the EdTechTeam.  I consider myself quite fortunate, and I am ever so grateful each time I get to work with the team of educators that +Michelle Armstrong brings in to work with her at these summits.  Michelle is the ultimate leader who has a penchant for making her team feel united, empowered, and awesome.  You just want to work hard for this woman and help her to produce the BEST SUMMIT EVER.  This time I presented 3 sessions, and the closing keynote.  My entire weekend was so amazing, but I have to say, I was consumed with thoughts of my keynote speech, so much so that my sessions may have suffered.  I apologize to all my attendees for that.  I do love what I do, but being a keynote in Vegas had me bound by thoughts of that final half hour.  Once it was over though, I was on that high of, "I just did that.  I did it.  I. DID. IT."  Version 2 was alright, and I know I have tons of room to grow, but I know I will gain valuable insights and feedback from my friends on the team.

Our weekend as a team was filled with such a high energy, smiles and laughs, good times outside of the summit, and inspiring learning and sharing amongst the attendees/presenters at the summit.  It was my first summit working with +jeffery heil and +Tracy Poelzer, so I was thrilled to get to know them and work with them.  Jeff has done so much work this past year with EdTechTeam, and his brilliance is evident when he delivers his keynote.  As a keynote who is a newbie, I learned so much as I watched him.  Tracy was a rockstar, winning the demo slam and rooms as she presented.  Her sessions were jam-packed with people and content.  Other team members were +Donnie Piercey (he was the opening keynote), +Jeffrey Humphries , +Emily Fitzpatrick , +Darren Maltais , and of course +Michelle Armstrong . 

I always enjoy watching Donnie do his keynotes, and this summit was a new one.  He always gets the crowd laughing, as he is a very funny guy, but this time was special.  Donnie showed a vulnerable side, as he brought a guitar and played a little number he wrote for his kids based on a Bob Dylan song, and the multiplication table.  This was really cool to see him share this side of himself with a crowd of over 300.  Jeff Humphries is kind of like the dad of the group.  He works full time with EdTechTeam Canada, and he is such a steady, calm guy.  He is kind, helpful and so knowledgeable.  I was in the launchpad room with him one session, and it was awesome to just listen to him give suggestions and help attendees.

Emily Fitz is a combination of pure energy, pure joy, pure motivation and knowledge.  She is a Google guru for sure, and an old soul who can spark up a dance party wherever she goes.  She too works full time for EdTechTeam Canada, and the care and attention she puts into making sure a summit goes off without a hitch is a surefire reason why Michelle hired her.  She just simply ROCKS.
Darren Maltais is the male equivalent of Emily.  Dancing fool, brainy, fun, musical - just all around GOOD GUY.  This was Darren's first trip to Vegas - EVER.  It was so awesome to see him take it in.  We went down to Fremont Street one night, and he was dancing, singing, just emanating PURE JOY.  This guy loves life.

So, now I sit back at my desk, back at work.  Tired.  As we all are.  I have the memories of the weekend: playing slots with +Donnie , Fremont Street adventures, meeting Ro and Mo, seeing +Joanne Schmutz again, and Heather Nail, talking Canadianisms with +Kyle Anderson , and my Starbucks name of Jerry.  Just connecting with new people and expanding that PLN makes for a wonderful experience.

When you are part of an EdTechTeam Summit, you make sacrifices - be it family, work, sleep, or anything else, but I tell you - it is all worth it.  I am so completely grateful each time I have this opportunity.  You never know when the offers will run out, so a person makes the most of each time, and having a supportive network definitely helps.  I have that, and I am also grateful to them.


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